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THE DILLON CASEY INTERVIEW – MVP

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

In tonight’s episode of “MVP,” the Mustangs hockey team goes on the road and all hell breaks loose when Trevor goes wild with the “ Puckbunnies”! It seems like viewers have slowly been watching Trevor’s turn to the dark side. I actually think it started with him driving the Escalade through the car dealership storefront? Do you think that was the turning point?

DILLON:

After the incident when I drive off in the Escalade, there is a moment in episode six that you don’t really expect of a guy like Trevor, but he does it anyway. He finally hooks up with Molly.

MICHAEL:

But, you enjoyed that episode?

DILLON:

Yes. That was a great episode. The thing about it was, it was all improvised. They didn’t really want me to drive through the window. I did that and they happened to catch it on camera! (He laughs) The thing about Trevor is, in previous episodes, when you watch him; he is getting pulled in all these different directions. He pretty much is letting people take full advantage of him and you don’t understand why. He is just this guy who wants to please everybody, and finally, he has had enough. He is tired of doing what everyone else expects of him, and he finally has enough. They want him to buy a Mustang and he says, “I’m not buying a Mustang.” So, he gets in the car and pulls out of the dealership window, and the sales guy makes a racial slur to him, and that was the icing on the cake.

MICHAEL:

Now, you had highlights in your hair that you were cutting off in the mirror because your character was getting fed up. That was shortly before driving the Escalade through the dealership storefront. It seems Trevor may need some anger-management! But, how did the hair highlights come about in the storyline?

DILLON:

What we did in that episode was my agent wanted to give Trevor a makeover… to give Trevor more of a media friendly image. They had him doing the underwear ad, which he did, and that did not end up turning out so well. Well, I guess it did. (He laughs) Basically, his agent catches him off guard and tells him. “We have a cereal company and it’s going to be great.” You know, Trevor is this kid from Loon Lake, and in the morning he is the kind of guy that throws on whatever is in front of him, and he never has really had to think about how he gels his hair. He has a sort of ‘get up and go’ mentality, and all of a sudden, he has this agent telling him how to dress, how to talk to people, and what to do with his hair. There is a part of him that knows that something is up, especially when he walks into the locker room in a suit. “Team Trevor” put the highlights in his hair. I did not dye my hair in real-life. They put in extensions and blonde clips, and red clips.

MICHAEL:

So you don’t like colorful extensions?

DILLON:

It’s not really my style. That’s kind of the point. They were supposed to look ridiculous. It was funny!

MICHAEL:

Was it fun to take Trevor to the dark side?

DILLON:

I always looked at Trevor as a guy who is between Gabe and Damon. I would look at Peter Miller’s character of Damon and think that is the most fun character to play on the show. The bad guy is always the most fun. When Trevor goes to the dark side I get to be more like Damon Trebuchet. So, the scenes were a lot of fun in episode 7. My favorite scene coming up has Damon and Trevor partying. At this point, Trevor has decided to become Damon. He goes to Lagoon, which is the “MVP” version of the Playboy Mansion, and it’s no holds barred for Trevor. He is just a kid in a candy store. He is a young Damon Trebuchet, by this point.

MICHAEL:

Moving forward, will Trevor Lamonde fans get to see their young hockey superstar redeemed?

DILLON:

Again, I can’t give that all away, but I can tell you there is an arc to the character and he does do a lot of things that he regrets, and it’s a turning point. There is a strong one coming up that is very interesting to see!

MICHAEL:

What are Trevor’s true feelings about the girls in his life, Molly and Tabbi?

DILLON:

Tabbi is the girl that he loved. She is his first love. She is the girl he grew up with in Loon Lake; she was there before all the fame and distraction. When Trevor gets out there into this world, there is all this temptation, and of course, the number one temptation that is out there is Molly. Molly is Trevor’s sort of ‘fatal attraction’.

MICHAEL:

She is so obvious in her seduction of Trevor, though!

DILLON:

She is so obvious, and she is so good-looking, that what guy wouldn’t like being charmed by a girl like Molly. So Trevor is not fighting it. He is also young and naïve about things like that. Then, Tabbi shows up with her Nana. Trevor is just trying to be a young kid experiencing all his success, and his girlfriend shows up with her grandma. He feels it’s preventing him from what he wants to do. There is a backlash to that. However, cheating on Tabbi with Molly was not a good call, by any means. The audience should not let Trevor off the hook for that one. When it comes to Molly, I think it was wrong that she was all over him, and Trevor just didn’t know what to do.

MICHAEL:

How was working with Natalie Krill, who plays Molly, and Anastasia Phillips, who plays Tabbi?

DILLON:

I would always hit on them relentlessly, but they both had boyfriends. It was great! We were all really great friends, and it was funny to know that Anastasia, who played Tabbi, and I found out we had a lot of friends that we both went to university with. So, we had a lot in common with mutual connections. We were immediate friends. Natalie and I had the same sense of humor. We got along really well, and all of it was good. Everybody on the set got along so well, and that is one of the saddest reasons for it being cancelled, because we were all such good friends. It was sad to think that we would not all hang out again.

MICHAEL:

Was there a scene or moment when you thought, “I was really good in this,” or one that you’re most fond of?

DILLON:

Literally, my favorite is a minute or two long scene where I silently sit there and stare at women in episode seven. It was my favorite scene and it came very natural for me (He laughs). There was another great scene with Peter Miller, where we are partying really hard, and it was a lot of fun because they did not yell, “cut”. We just finished and improvised for an extra two or three minutes, and it was so funny!

MICHAEL:

We hear you are working and studying with the famed comedy improv group, Second City, up in Toronto. Is that true?

DILLON:

I am doing the Second City conservatory. Comedy is my number one passion, and where I would like to go. I love doing Second City. It’s so much fun! I have been doing it for two years, and so have my brothers. There is a big improv scene in Toronto, and it’s so much fun and such a rush.

MICHAEL:

Was it hard to play the country bumpkin that Trevor was, to turning into the guy seduced by power, women and money?

DILLON:

You know what I found difficult was when I would think, “Why would anybody in their right mind let anybody do this to them, and take advantage of them in this way?” But, I guess for anyone from a small town going to a big city, things start to happen. Pulling off the character was a lot of fun. It was fun having such opposites on the show. The guy coming from the small town, and then having the guy have everything, was not hard to do.

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MICHAEL:

Now, being the half-naked poster boy in Times Square on the billboard, and with all the SOAPnet promos, how is that experience for you? You’re half-naked in your underwear, so what were your thoughts?

DILLON:

First of all, I am way more than half-naked! When we took those pictures I did not know they were going to be on a billboard at all. I got a phone call that said, “We just want to run this by you, that you are going to be on a billboard we are printing and it’s going to be in Times Square. I went, “Oh, oh, well that’s cool. I did not know how to respond. Then, people were calling me asking if I was going to go down and see it. Then my dad really wanted to go, so we went down to New York City, and we told SOAPnet we were going, and they brought the camera out. I did not know how I was going to react. I did not know if I was going to see the billboard and be overly excited and go nuts. It wasn’t really that. I looked at it and I was happy, and it was really cool. It was surreal, if anything.

MICHAEL:

So, I’m sure what’s come out of that is, you are now on “The Sexiest Men list”, all over the world, and a sex symbol to people. How does that feel?

DILLON:

What’s strange is a lot of this has happened so fast. This whole thought of being a celebrity doesn’t exist as powerfully in Toronto, as it does in LA. There is definitely a sense of it. If I am talking to somebody and they are not really saying anything, and there is not a lot of eye contact, they will go, “Why is your friend being such a jerk to me?” And my friends say to me, “Dude, they are nervous talking to you!” I don’t think of myself in that way, but it takes my brothers or my friends to point it out to me. People that recognize me the most are other actors. They will come up to me and say, “Hey, congratulations on the show. I have never seen a show like that come out of Canada.” That’s really good to hear. The billboard itself is also great Second City material, for them to make fun of me. Just like after a class or show, people will want to go to a bar and I will go, “How about this bar?” And they will always joke, “Oh, just because he is on a billboard in Times Square we have to go to that bar!” OK, ‘Mr. Celebrity and Mr. Times Square’. Overall, I would not say my life has changed.

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MICHAEL:

Is it true that in the audition a lot of guys had to take off their clothes or their shirts, or something?

DILLON:

Well, I don’t know what anybody else had to do. My first audition was a regular audition where I had to do some lines, and felt pretty good about it. Then, I got a call from my agent saying that I needed to go back to the auditions. So, I went back and the directors and the casting directors were there. I did what I did before in the other scene, and then they go, “OK. Now that was great, but now we are going to do another scene where your character is asked to do an underwear ad, and have these pictures taken of him, where he screams like an animal at the end.” So I was like, “OK, that sounds good.” They go, “No, no, you have to take your shirt off. This is an underwear ad.” I go, “OK. I guess I will do that.” I had to for my callback. So, the way I got the part was taking my shirt off and screaming, and they gave me the part.

MICHAEL:

To be in shape like you are, how often do you work out?

DILLON:

I go there five times a week. I grew up in competitive sports. I was a tennis player and quit that when I was 10 years old. I was a member of a gym, and I am a pretty anxious guy. So, I started going to the gym after I stopped playing tennis. With all this extra energy it just became a habit.

MICHAEL:

So, since “MVP” centers around hockey, and Canada is famous for it, are you a hockey buff in real life?

DILLON:

To be honest, I am one of those guys that when the playoffs are on, and if Toronto or Montreal is in the play-offs, I will watch. But, I don’t really care that much and I am not ashamed to admit it. All my friends love it. To be honest, I think there is too much of it up here. I wish Canada would pay attention to some of its other athletes, because there is no reason we should not have amazing tennis and baseball players. I love hockey and I love how Canadians love it, but we are a big country and there should be more variety here.

MICHAEL:

What would people be most surprised to know about you, that they wouldn’t expect from a guy like you?

DILLON:

I think, Second City. I have a production company with my brothers and we have two series in development now in Canada. We are all writers and producers, and also I think what surprises most people is that I have a Masters Degree in Economics. That is surprising to me. (He laughs) So, that is why I think it would surprise most people.

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MICHAEL:

What made you go into acting?

DILLON:

The bigger question is what made me get my Masters in Economics? Acting was actually a fallback if this ‘economics’ thing didn’t’ work out. It was in my third year at the university that I realized I liked acting. I applied for my Masters, and then I went to audition in Toronto. I landed a big job in a show during exam time in April called, “Eleven Cameras” and it was my first big role. Then, that put me in the position that I could audition for anything in Toronto. Right after that, I auditioned for “MVP” and I got the part of Trevor Lamonde. Since then, I have been acting full time as much as I can. There are ups and downs with whether you are working. It’s either a lot or not at all.

MICHAEL:

Would you consider a move to Los Angeles at this point, or are you planning on staying in Canada right now?

DILLON:

I have duel citizenship to the States and Canada. So, I definitely will be moving to Los Angeles at some point. Right now the plan is October. I was planning on going down this year, but there was the writer’s strike and that was pretty bad, and there was an earthquake today in LA, so I knew it wasn’t the right time for it to happen. (He laughs) But October seems like a great time.

Don’t miss episode seven, “the Code, on “MVP” tonight on SOAPnet, Thursday July 31st at 11 PM ET/PT! And keep up with “MVP” by logging onto www.soapnet.com. “He Shoots … She Scores!”

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Interviews

Executive Producer Michael Levitt Previews The Adorable 2019 ‘American Rescue Dog Show’

Dog lovers everywhere get ready! Coming your way on Sunday, February 17th and Monday, February 18th, the good folks at the Hallmark Channel will air a two-night special event (8pmET/7pmCT) that puts a spin on the traditional competitive elite dog shows, while at the same time championing an important cause for man’s best friend.

The 2019 American Rescue Dog Show honors some of the cutest rescue dogs from around the country going paw-to-paw in categories that will tickle-your-funny-bone, bring a smile to your face, or, potentially shed a tear.  This marks the second year for this oh-so-heartwarming show, where in its first year, it beat the Westminster Dog Show in the ratings; much to the delight of rescue dogs and their families, who take these wonderful animals into their homes.

The brainchild behind the concept is the executive producer of the event. Michael Levitt (Skin Wars, Daytime Emmys, TV Land Awards), who spoke with Michael Fairman TV to give us all the inside dish and insight into why this dog show is so personally important to him, and how its goal is to create awareness about the plight of millions of abandoned dogs in shelters each year, and to inspire viewers to think about rescuing one of these loveable pups.

Levitt has a collection of notable hosts and judges along for the ride who bring this one-of-a-kind doggy competition to life from the world of TV, film, and animal advocacy.  So, for the lowdown on the competition and more, here’s what Michael shared.

Photo: Crown Media

For those who want to check out the two-night event, is the American Rescue Dog Show in the same vein as the Westminster Dog Show, where the dogs are competing? 

MICHAEL: The format of the show is similar to a fancy dog show, such as Westminster, however, on the American Rescue Dog Show, we aren’t “judging” the dog.  In our show, they all have to be rescue dogs that are spayed or neutered in order to compete, and we are not judging them based on their bloodlines, we are celebrating their cuteness in such categories as, “Best in Wiggle Butt,” “Best in Couch Potato,” “Best in Snoring,” “Best in Special Needs,” and  “Best in Senior Dog” – those are obviously some of the most important.   We have the fancy arena floor with the judges and the tuxedos.  We filmed it at the Pomona Fairplex, which is the same place that they film the Beverly Hills Dog Show.

And you have a bevy of dog-loving celebrity judges along for the ride, too!

MICHAEL: Yes, and this year we are lucky to have the support of celebrity animal advocates that include: Lisa Vanderpump, Debbie Gibson, Brandon McMillan, host of CBS’s Lucky Dog, Bill Berloni, who is the dog trainer to a lot of the dogs on Broadway, and Dirty Job’s Mike Rowe.  Our prerequisites for them to be a judge were: they all needed to be rescue-friendly.  So, they either needed to have a rescue dog of their own or support rescue in some way.  Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell are the hosts this year, along with Ross Matthews and Home & Family’s Larissa Wall, who served as co-hosts and cover all of the action ringside.

Photo: Crown Media

So, did the judges get along?  Did they differ on their top picks?

MICHAEL: The judges absolutely got along famously, but as a producer of the show, I was a fly on the wall listening to them when they were deliberating as they were picking a winner.  That was quite entertaining, because each of them had a strong point of view on the dog, or dogs that they thought should win the competition. We found ourselves throughout the filming just turning to each other and saying, “I don’t know how the judges are going to pick just one, because they are all just so incredibly special.”

How was Lisa Vanderpump? 

MICHAEL:  Lisa was wonderful!  When she was being interviewed by Rebecca and Jerry O’Connell, they asked her what she would say to a potential family that is about to buy a dog from a breeder, and it was such a profound moment, because as someone who comes from her socioeconomic level, from her privilege, to see that she has embraced rescue might be incredibly meaningful to someone who might think that rescue dogs are second-hand animals.  Lisa Vanderpump disproves that just by being there, and being a part of it.

Photo: Crown Media

How did you decide on Rebecca and Jerry as your hosts with the most?

MICHAE:  I have a long history with Rebecca from producing my show, Skin Wars, which she hosts.  I knew that she and Jerry had four rescue dogs of their own, and that she is incredibly passionate about rescue and shedding light and creating awareness about the plight of animals that are sheltered.  They were not only organic and authentic to the cause, but they were a lot of fun and clearly had a lot of natural chemistry.  They also brought their own rescue dogs to the show, as did Lisa Vanderpump.  So that was fun.

You have two wonderful dogs of your own.  So, this is your passion project!

MICHAEL: This is a true labor of love for me, because in 2011 when my sister, Jennifer was dying of cancer, my partner and I decided to rescue a dog, and we rescued a pit bull named Trooper, and Trooper rocked our world.  My sister met him four days before she died, and it’s that old adage of “Who rescued who.”  Trooper really was there for me during a really difficult time of my life. I learned first-hand how special not only rescue dogs are, but pit bulls, and that really was the beginning of my animal advocacy.  I ended up taking a year off from producing just to rescue dogs.  I realized at the end of that year, that as a rescuer, I am saving one dog at a time, but as a producer, I could do so much more to bring awareness to the plight of animals in our shelters by creating rescue-themed programming.

Pit bulls seem to always get a bad rap.  Do you feel that way?

MICHAEL:  They absolutely get a bad rap, and after we rescued Trooper, we rescued another pit bull named Nelson, and it was really the two of them who inspired me to get heavily involved in rescue and to be an advocate for pit bulls.  With pit bulls it is such a unique human-animal bond that you don’t find with any other breed.  All they really want to do is please their humans, and it is absolutely true that when you hear these horrific stories about pit bulls on the news, these are rare incidents of pit bulls who have fallen into the hands of bad people who have treated them badly.  It’s really unfair to profile and entire breed of dog, because all dog breeds have some dogs that have behavioral problems.  I have come in contact with thousands of pit bulls, and I have only met one that was human-aggressive, and that dog was severely, severely abused.  Every other pit bull I have come in contact with has been nothing but incredibly sweet.

Photo: Crown Media

So, last year’s American Rescue Dog Show is currently in the running to earn a Daytime Emmy nomination in the ‘Special Class Special’ programming category!

MICHAEL:  Yes, “Special Class Special”. (Laughs)

You obviously know who wins this weekend’s American Rescue Dog Show competition.  Were you happy with the winner? 

MICHAEL:  Yes, but you can imagine how difficult it is for the judges to pick a winner because every single dog in the competition is beyond adorable. It is really the dogs who deliver on the show, and that’s what makes the show so heartwarming.  The real purpose of the show is to inspire the viewers to rescue their next dog from their local shelter, or rescue organization, so that people who are watching turn to the person they are with and say, “Honey, I didn’t know you could get a pure-bred dog at a shelter!  Let’s rescue our next dog!”  We have really powerful segments in the show about the joy of adopting a senior dog, or a special-needs dog.  We do a segment on debunking the myths about pit bulls, and we have messaging on why it is important to spay and neuter your dog.  So, through this wonderfully entertaining program, we are also educating people and hopefully touching their heart and their soul and inspiring them to be a part of the solution by rescuing their next dog; instead of being a part of the problem by purchasing a dog from a pet store or breeder.

Photo: Crown Media

When you look at what you have to take on as a producer when you do this type of show; as opposed to any other type of production you have helmed, what are the major differences?

MICHAEL: The biggest distinction is that on this show we are dealing with living animals, so I take that responsibility very seriously.  First and foremost: is the safety and well-being of the dogs that are participating on the show.  We have to consider everything from making sure that the animals are up-to-date with their vaccinations to having veterinarians on hand, having production personal on-hand standing by with treats and pooper-scoopers. This also means that the dogs are being treated like VIPs.  So, we have a VIP room, but that stands for “Very Important Pooch”, and all of the dogs that are participating have their own dressing rooms with a star on it and their name.  There were over 130 dogs that actually participated from all over the country.  In addition, we had a gifting suite like they do on the Oscars and Golden Globes, but on this show, they didn’t get swag bags, they got “Wag Bags”.

Knowing you as I do, it seems a lot this creative from the categories in the competition, to the backstage VIP room, are very YOU!

MICHAEL:  I have an incredible team of producers who I collaborate with.  None of this would be possible without the good people at Hallmark being such incredible animal advocates.  Specifically, Bill Abbott, who is one of the few network executives in the industry who is really walking the walk and doing so much to be supportive of dogs and cats who need homes.  So, this is right up my alley, because creatively I am so passionate about it that it is so easy to come up with fun ideas that hopefully resonate with the viewers.

Photo: Crown Media

Are there any other fun moments that you can tease?

MICHAEL:  We are celebrating the perfectly imperfect.  So, we love when a dog decides to roll on his back in the middle of the arena and decide he wants to get a belly rub in the middle of the competition.  We had a dog decide that he had to go potty on the middle of a flower arrangement on the arena floor.  Those are the moments that give the show its heart and feel-good sensibility.  We had a couple of dogs in the “Best Wiggle Butt” category where one of their forever parent brings them out initially, and their other forever parent was on the other side of the area, and we removed their leash so that they can run from one parent to the other so that we can really see their butts moving, but … we had a few dogs get so excited that they ran right out of the arena! (Laughs)  They ran right through the tunnel off stage and come running back in, and the whole audience erupted into laughter.  It’s just magical.

How did you find these dogs to compete? 

MICHAEL:  We put out a call-to-action on social media, and we got thousands of responses. People submitted their rescue dogs in as many categories as they qualified for, and they submitted photos and videos. Then, we have a team of producers and rescue experts who go through all of the submissions, ultimately picking the top semi-finalists in each category who come to Los Angeles to compete.  We had a wonderful partnership with Pedigree Foundation in which they provided $100,000 in grant money for the dogs that win for the rescue that saved him or her.  So, in the ten semi-final categories, each winning dog received a $5,000 grant for the rescue that saved him or her, and then the ultimate winner of the competition, which is crowned the title, “Best in Rescue,” received an additional $30,000 for the rescue that saved him or her, again, courtesy of Pedigree Foundation.  We also had a partnership with adoptapet.com, which is the largest online resource for people to find rescue dogs in their own communities. Throughout the show, we have a call-to-action for people to go to hallmark.com/bestinrescue and look for the adopt a pet icon … they click it… then enter their zip code … and they are instantly linked to thousands of available dogs in their own community who are patiently waiting for a loving home.

Photo: Crown Media

The dog handlers are the owners of these pets?

MICHAEL:  Yes.  We call it a member of their “forever family”.  Several of the dogs on the show are service dogs now, or companion animals, working in senior homes or working with military service people suffering from PTSD.  We celebrate each and every one of them.

Is your hope to do a third annual show, and keep the dog rescue competition going?

MICHAEL:  Yes!  My hope is that this show continues to be on for many years to come and be a platform for the 8 million animals that enter our shelters each year and are patiently waiting for their forever home, and that we can continue to be a voice for these dogs that don’t have voices of their own.  Of all of the shows that I have produced over the years, this one is going to be the most meaningful to me, and is going to be my legacy, because it is such a beautiful thing that I can bring my work and my passion together to hopefully make a difference in the lives of all of these animals.  As a result of this show, we heard from numerous shelters across the country that there was a definite uptick in adoptions.  That warms my heart beyond compare.

In closing, you know what they say:  it’s easier to work with animals than humans! Thoughts? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:  Every show has its challenges, but I would much rather deal with a diva Chihuahua than a diva celebrity.  So, on that level, this show is pure joy to make.

So, will you be watching this heartwarming, creative two-night rescue dog event?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below, but first, check out this behind-the-scenes video of how the American Rescue Dog Show is put together with co-host, Ross Matthews.

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Y&R’s Jason Thompson Talks On: The Self-Destructive Billy Abbott, Victoria, Phyllis, And Katie’s Disappearance

As February sweeps kicks in to high gear on The Young and the Restless, Billy Abbott (Jason Thompson) and his ex-wife, Victoria Newman (Amelia Heinle) are once again in each other’s orbit.  First, Billy was not too happy to learn that his nemesis, Cane Ashby (Daniel Goddard) shared some passionate kisses with her.  In fact, he went running to Cane’s imprisoned wife. Lily (Christel Khalil), to give her the lowdown.  Next, their child, Katie has gone MIA, but as viewers saw on Friday’s cliffhanger she is somehow heard singing through the walls at the Newman Ranch. Previously, Katie said she was playing with an imaginary friend, but someone is lurking around and watching the Newmans every move!

And let’s not forget, Summer (Hunter King) is back in Genoa City!  The last time she hit town she all but destroyed Billy – his gambling addiction returned, she tried to seduce him, and he slept with her as revenge against Phyllis for her having sex with Nick (Joshua Morrow), and we could go on!  After all the hurt, and the dissolution of their relationship, Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) and Billy are not seeing eye to eye on much, but saying they will try to work together.  Can they?

To fill us in on all the drama, Jason Thompson chatted with Michael Fairman TV and weighed-in on: the future for Villy, Philly, what he has learned from working on two major soaps; General Hospital, where he played the popular Dr. Patrick Drake, and Y&R, his thoughts on his recent Daytime Emmy Pre-Nomination in the Lead Actor category in what was a banner year of storyline for him in 2018, and much more.

Insightful, driven, and talented, Jason is one of the standouts in our genre.  Check out what he had to share below.

What did you think about the plot point that had Billy going to visit Lily in prison, and once there, he informs her that her husband, Cane has been kissing on Victoria!?

JASON:  What I think about it is somewhat irrelevant.  It wasn’t hard for me to rationalize it.  In the moment, Billy was hurt and pissed off.  He is irrational sometimes.  Once he got to the prison, I think he second-guessed himself.  Lily did a pretty good job of convincing him that she needs to know what is going on in order to just live in a certain amount of truth in this situation.  Billy felt that it would be worse for her wondering what was going on on the outside without knowing the truth.  I think that in that moment, he was convinced that telling her the truth was the right thing.  There was a part of him that wanted to get back at Cane, and when Billy gets hurt, he seems to lash out a bit and then sometimes he kind of recoils.  Could he have let it go?  Probably.  I think it’s an interesting thing for Lily and Billy’s relationship; to be honest.  Billy has always respected Lily.  I think that he’s always looked at Lily as someone who does the right thing, and was a good wife, and a good mother, and all of those things.  He thinks that she is in a rough place and wanted to offer her a little bit of support, and that’s the way that he did it.

Photo: JPI Studios

Where do you think the show can go now with his relationship with Cane?  They have been contentious all this time, anyway, and now this has happened.   How do you think this will resolve, or would it ever resolve?

JASON:  I think it’s one of the most interesting relationships Billy hasI don’t know that it will ever resolve.  I don’t know that Billy thinks too much about Cane either way, but in saying that,  there is still no one that can get under his skin and quickly!  In an instant, Cane can be Billy’s enemy and I think that’s great.  I always think there is story for Billy and Cane.  In our working relationship as well, I think we both get a different energy out of each other that inevitably ends up in the characters.  That’s always fun.

Photo:” JPI

How does Billy feel about Victoria now?  She’s been struggling since her relationship with J.T., making out with Cane, etc. 

JASON:  Billy does have feelings for VictoriaI think it’s a number of things that contributes to this.  I think it’s where he finds himself in his life.  He has been kind of hurt by the woman he loved (Phyllis).  He had everything for a moment that he wanted … he had the job, he had the girl, and if he had just done the right thing and had a little bit more self-control, he probably would have been in the best place of his life.  So, when all of those things get pulled away, the one constant is just when he goes to see his kids and they smile, and they don’t know what’s going on in the outside world.  I think the only people who don’t judge him are probably the kids.  There’s something really comfortable about that situation.  No matter what happens, there’s always going to be a little something with Victoria.  She’s always very supportive (not that she hasn’t been very, very upset with him, at times), but there is always something about their relationship that will keep him wondering if they should be together.  I think it will probably be like that for the rest of their lives.

Billy is still unaware that Victoria, Nikki, Phyllis and Sharon are all part of a cover-up in J.T.’s murder.  How aware is Billy in the depths of the abuse Victoria suffered at the hands of J.T.?

JASON:  There was never really a big realization about how dramatic, hurtful, and volatile the whole situation was.  It was a shock to hear all of that obviously, but he has no idea about the depths of it all.

Photo: CBS

If he found out, how do you think he would react knowing what Victoria had gone through?

JASON:  I think he would probably want to kick him again and then re-bury him. Billy has got a lot of flaws, but there is one thing that he will do, and that is always stand up for his family, and that includes Victoria.

Currently, it is just devastating for Billy when Katie goes missing.   He’s like, “I can’t go through this again after what happened with Delia,” and I know you didn’t play the Delia material, because you weren’t on the show at that time.  However, this does give you the opportunity to tap into all of that.

JASON:  Yes!  I mean, that is his biggest fear … going through all of that again.  I think that he would rather not be on the planet than go through all of that again.  What happened to Delia is never going to ever leave him.  I can’t imagine that something like that ever really does.  You just deal with it on a daily basis probably, and things come up, and you feel it all over again, and this is one of those moments.

Courtesy/CBS

I think that you being a father of two children now in your own life; really gives you a perspective when you play these things types of emotions and scenes out.

JASON:  Definitely.  Peter Bergman (Jack) and I were having a conversation about how much life and living, and trying to live a full life, really helps you with your acting.  I work really hard on my craft, but the most important thing that I can do for my work and my career is live a full life.  With the kids and everything else in my personal life, that to me is something that I can always draw upon.  It’s hard to even let myself go there sometimes, because of how scary it would be.  But yeah, I think Billy is not far off from that.  That character has a lot of life and is tied to this volcano and it’s just waiting to erupt, and that eruption is good and full of liveliness fear, and anger.  Some of that comes from hurt, and some of that comes from pain, and some of that comes from a good time, and some of that comes from addiction, and it makes it fun for me because there’s always something to play.  When I talk about what I think of a particular story line, I don’t think of it as, “Oh, I would never do this,” or “I would never do that.  That doesn’t make any sense.”  I try and make sense of everything.  That’s my job.  I just try to find a reason why Billy would be in that situation; instead of trying to find a reason why he wouldn’t be.

Photo: JPI Studios

Would you say that the situation with Katie will draw Victoria and Billy closer together?  At the end of Friday’s episode, they hear Katie’s voice in the wall, so they know she is alive.

JASON:  I think so.  One step up is often two steps back with them, but they are always connected in that way.  The kids do that, and what they’ve been through in the past, and like you said, I wasn’t necessarily there for a lot of that, but it’s in this character.  I would never say never with Victoria.

Photo: CBS

So, where is Billy at with Phyllis?  You and Gina Tognoni played that coupling to the hilt and the show separated them.  Major romances are never really ‘done, done’ on soaps.

JASON:  I mean, it only gets worse with Phyllis.  I’ll say that.  They’re not in a good place.   We have gone through some changes behind the scenes.  So, I have no idea what is happening as far as storyline.  I think there is always going to be something unresolved with Phyllis, but that’s the good thing about this kind of stuff.  You can put these two people together when you have two actors who kind of embrace it, and work at it, and have a natural chemistry, which in turn helps the characters have chemistry.  When Gina and I talk about what we did and accomplished with our characters, to be honest, it’s a little bit of a bummer that they are kind of apart right now, because we had a lot of fun.  We really enjoyed working with each other.  We felt like there was a lot more there to continue to explore, but like you said, it’s never over.  As far as the way that he sees Phyllis … it’s interesting.  I think as an outsider, he kind of looks at her as a selfish person who is going to get and grab whatever she wants, but I feel like he does understand her differently than other people do.  I think he’s looking at Nick and Phyllis and shaking his head like, “You can’t be serious.” (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI

You have had quite a gold mine of leading ladies in your daytime career from: Kimberly McCullough (Robin) to Kelly Monaco (Sam) while you portrayed Dr, Patrick Drake on General Hospital, to Gina and Amelia at Y&R.  I have to say that of all of the leading men on daytime, I think you’ve had consistently some major romantic kickass scene partners.  What are your thoughts on that?

JASON:  Yeah, I have been very fortunate.  I can go back thirteen years now and talk about how much Kimberly helped me out in the beginning, and how patient, and impatient (laughs) she was in a lot of ways.  Kimberly taught me a lot about how the business is, and to hold onto your values, and that it is very important to collaborate with your directors, and your writers, and your producers, and with other people that you work with.  You then see new things.  I’m constantly seeing things in other characters where I’m like, “That would be really interesting to shine a light on.”   I think there’s something really interesting about Sharon (Sharon Case) and Billy.  I think Billy could bring something out in Sharon that somebody else can’t.  That’s what is exciting for me as an actor – trying to find something different and trying to bring life that is not necessarily there yet.  I have had a lot of trust from writers, from producers, and from networks.  I have been very fortunate in that way.

Hunter King has returned to Y&R as Summer.  She played havoc in Billy’s life her last go-round.  I know now she is currently after Kyle (Michael Mealor) and not after Billy, but does Billy blame her at all for his spiral back into his gambling addiction?

JASON:  Realistically, if  Billy were really being dead honest about it and trying to really work soberly in his life, he would say there’s nobody to blame but himself.  There’s definitely that conversation that could be had between them about the situation that they found themselves in.  They both hurt each other pretty badly, and the people surrounding them.  I think there is probably a little bit of blame that can go around on both of them, but I don’t think he really sits back and blames her for falling back into addiction.  She might have been one of the triggers, but I think that he was really responsible for that.

Congratulations on your Daytime Emmy Pre-Nom in the Lead Actor category!  It’s quite a talented group of ten actors that made it through to the final round of competition. You certainly had a stellar year of material!

JASON:  I had a ton of great storylines last year, and it just kind of kept going, and kept going One thing I will say that really helped me out is my relationship with Mal Young (Ex- EP and head writer, Y&R).  We got along really well.  He helped me out by letting me know six months ahead of time where we planned on going with the story.  So, I was able to understand and slowly build the depths of hurt, and the gambling, and how it got further along, and the lies.   I was able to understand where we were going and the plateau that we needed to get to, which was very helpful for me. I worked with amazing people constantly; every day was like something different.  The hard part in this next round of voting is trying to find something that represents the whole year.  When I look at that list of pre-nominees, I’m proud of the work that daytime actors do … everybody from a little bit of a younger guy like Billy Flynn (Chad, DAYS) to icons like Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) , and Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH).  What Maurice brought to my life as an actor and still does has been wonderful, and on the other side of that you’ve got Peter Bergman, who is like a real brother to me now, and we’re really close.  It’s a nice comradery between everybody in the category.  It’s a great group of people to be included with, and aside from the competition part of it, that’s the really cool part.

Photo Credit: JPI

So, let’s talk about your on-screen, mom, Jess Walton (Jill).  I’ve heard you say publicly how much you really like working with her, and she with you.  What can you say about when you do get some scenes with Jess, and get to play that mother-son relationship?

JASON:  That’s another one that you can loop in with all of the other women I’ve worked with.  It’s a different kind of relationship, but talk about a soap icon! Jess Walton is right up there.  She’s a pro, and she’s got this little girl inside that is the sweetest thing alive, and her little giggle.  I can say that relationship is just there with her.  I would love for her to be there more.  If there’s one person that can tell Billy to just, you know what, she’s somebody that can give him a little whipping, and he’d be like, “Okay mom, you’re right.” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Finally, you are on this juggernaut of a show that just celebrated yet another milestone, 30 years at #1.  You go from a historic show like GH, to another here at Y&R that keeps celebrating these milestones that nobody will ever overtake.  All of this has to be a ‘pinch yourself’ moment for you?

JASON:  Yeah, I definitely pinch myself.  I think at this moment, all four soaps that are left are having monumental anniversaries and celebrations, because the truth of it is, it’s really incredible what soaps have done in our history.  With playing Patrick on General Hospital, I still look back on that time and that character, and am just so grateful that I was able to bring him to life.  Every once and awhile I wonder what Patrick’s doing.  On the other end of that, to come over to Y&R with a show that is now 30 years at number #1, and the pride that they have, and the support that they have from the network, there’s a real kind of challenge that we have in order to keep that up.  It is not about the slogans, or the glitzy ad campaigns in the magazines that say, “Hey!  We are #1 for 30 years.”  While that’s very important, what’s more important are the people who have gotten us there for the last thirty years.  We have to show them respect by doing the best that we can and continue that. That’s what drives us. You can feel it in the building.  To take on a character like Billy, who has been a part of that for a very long time, there is a pressure that comes with that, but at the same time, there is an excitement of taking on this character and continuing to make him relevant, and a part of this great soap’s history.

So, do you want Billy to end up with Victoria, Phyllis, perhaps Sharon, or someone else? Who do you think has got Katie and is watching the Newmans?  Are you rooting for Jason to receive a Lead Actor nomination for his work on Y&R in 2018?  What do you think about the other sentiments shared by Jason in this interview, and what was your favorite part of our discussion? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Freddie Smith and Chandler Massey Interview – Day of Days 2018

Days of our Lives stars Freddie Smith (Sonny) and Chandler Massey (Will) chat with Michael Fairman at NBC’s Day of Days 2018 celebrating the 53rd anniversary of the long-running daytime drama series.

During the interview, the duo tease what’s to come for #WilSon with Paul’s (Christopher) departure from the canvas, Will getting his memory back, and the trouble that will soon arise when a certain someone is “back from the dead”.

Freddie and Chandler also talk about being a soap power couple on-screen, and reveal some of their favorite scenes, and chat up the new DOOL app and their fun content within it.

Watch below our latest chat with Freddie and Chandler.  Make sure to check out all the Day of Days 2018 interviews with the cast of DAYS on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube,  Make sure to “subscribe” to view all the features and videos/

Now, let us know what you thought of the conversation with Freddie and Chandler below, and what was your favorite part of it, via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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